Young wrestlers from Homer and Anchor Point took part in two tournaments last weekend: the Tanana Middle School Tournament held in Fairbanks and the United States Girls Wrestling Association Tournament at Service High School.
Tanana Middle School hosted nearly 500 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders during the two-day unofficial Middle School State Tournament. Homer and Chapman brought up nine wrestlers.
The Homer Huskies placed 11th overall in the tourney with 70.5 points. The Chapman Eagles combined for 21.5 points, earning them 23rd place.
Seventh-grader Teddy Croft finished third place at 105 pounds, winning seven matches, and only losing to the eventual champion, Weston Martin of Anchorage. Croft's quarterfinal match against Martin was "the match of the day," according to head coach Chris Perk.
Early in the match, Croft scored a takedown to gain the lead, but was then put onto his back with a cradle that knotted up the match at 3, sending this nail biter into overtime. The two and a half minute overtime period wasn't enough for these two competitors, as neither of them could score, accounting for the ultimate tie breaker. Martin held his position during the tie breaker and finally picked up the win to advance. Croft, who was then put in the consolation bracket, ran through his next four opponents without getting scored on once, earning himself the third place medal.
Homer's Tristan Cook's only loss came to Anchorage's third-place winner Derrick Knoblock at 122 pounds. The seventh-grader won four matches on his way to a fourth place finish in the tournament. Eighth-grader Jared Brant took fifth place at 98 pounds, going 7-2 in a weight class featuring more than 40 wrestlers. Other Huskies who won multiple matches, but did not place, include Jamie Rios (105 pounds) and Ravi Cavasos (114 pounds).
For Chapman, seventh-grader Tyler Johnson took eighth place at 118 pounds. Johnson won three matches, two of them by pin. Kyle Wells, who was runner-up at last weekend's borough tournament, couldn't pick up a win, while sixth-graders Luciano Fasulo (91 pounds) and Wayne Newman (84 pounds) won two matches, giving them momentum for next season.
Coach Perk thanked Chapman Coach Bubba Wells and Homer Middle School coaches Larry Croft and Danny Rios for a very successful season.
The United States Girls Wrestling Association Tournament saw six out of seven Popeye wrestlers take first place.
Mischelle Wells won three matches at 65 pounds, earning the Elementary School Title. Her sister Allison Wells won one match before losing to teammate and eventual Champion Mckenzie Cook in the middle school bracket. Mina Cavasos won the Secondary Elementary division and took third place in the middle school bracket with just two losses.
Diana Gaedecke, who placed third last weekend, managed to pick up two wins at 110 pounds, pinning both opponents by head lock and arm bar. Heather Harrington picked up two wins by her deadly half nelson pin and Faith Jackson won her Elementary School bracket, placing fourth in the middle school division.
Popeye wrestling starts the Freestyle/Greco season this weekend as the Anchorage Freestyle Club holds a meet hosted by Bartlett high School.